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Last week I discussed some of the basics of interviewing for a job in English and specific job related vocabulary. This week I would like to focus on some of the common questions that are asked during the interview and appropriate(thich hop) responses (su dap lai)to these questions.
1.Interviewer: Tell me about yourself.
Candidate: I was born and raised in Milan, Italy. I attended the University of Milan and received my master's degree in Economics. I have worked for 12 years as a financial consultant in Milan for various companies including Rossi Consultants, Quasar Insurance and Sardi and Sons. I enjoy playing tennis in my free time and learning languages.
Candidate: I've just graduated from the University of Singapore with a degree in Computers. During the summers, I worked as a systems administrator(quan ly) for a small company to help pay for my education.
Comment: This question is meant as an introduction. Do not focus too specifically on any one area. The above question will often be used to help the interviewer choose what h/she would like to ask next. While it is important to give an overall(toan dien) impression of who you are, make sure to concentrate on work related(ke lai) experience. Work related experience should always be the central focus of any interview (work experience is more important than education in most English speaking countries).
2.Interviewer: What type of position(vi tri) are you looking for?
Candidate: I'm interested in an entry level (beginning) position.
Candidate: I'm looking for a position in which I can utilize my experience.
Candidate: I would like any position for which I qualify.
Comment:You should be willing to take an entry(su di vao) level position in an English speaking company as most of these companies expect non-nationals to begin with such a position. In the United States, most companies provide many opportunities for growth, so don't be afraid to start from the beginning!
3.Interviewer: Are you interested in a full-time or part-time position?
Candidate: I am more interested in a full-time position. However, I would also consider a part-time position.
Comment: Make sure to leave open as many possibilities as possible. Say you are willing to take any job, once the job has been offered you can always refuse if the job does not appeal (not interest) to you.
4.Interviewer: Can you tell me about your responsibilities at your last job?
Candidate: I advised customers on financial matters. After I consulted the customer, I completed a customer inquiry form and catalogued the information in our database. I then collaborated with colleagues to prepare the best possible package for the client. The clients were then presented with a summarized report on their financial activities that I formulated on a quarterly basis.
Comment:Notice the amount of detail necessary when you are talking about your experience. One of the most common mistakes made by foreigners when discussing their former employment is to speak too generally. The employer wants to know exactly what you did and how you did it; the more detail you can give the more the interviewer knows that you understand the type of work. Remember to vary your vocabulary when talking about your responsibilities. Also, do not begin every sentence with "I". Use the passive voice, or an introductory clause to help you add variety to your presentation
5.Interviewer: What is your greatest strength?
Candidate: I work well under pressure. When there is a deadline (thoi han phai xong) time by which the work must be finished), I can focus on the task at hand (current project) and structure my work schedule well. I remember one week when I had to get 6 new customer reports out by Friday at 5. I finished all the reports ahead of time without having to work overtime.
Candidate: I am an excellent communicator. People trust me and come to me for advice. One afternoon, my colleague was involved with a troublesome (difficult) customer who felt he was not being served well. I made the customer a cup of coffee and invited both my colleague and the client to my desk where we solved the problem together.
Candidate: I am a trouble shooter. When there was a problem at my last job, the manager would always ask me to solve it. Last summer, the LAN server at work crashed. The manager was desperate and called me in (requested my help) to get the LAN back online. After taking a look at the daily backup, I detected the problem and the LAN was up and running (working) within the hour.
Comment: This is not the time to be modest! Be confident and always give examples. Examples show that you are not only repeating words you have learned, but actually do possess that strength.
6.Interviewer: What is your greatest weakness?
Candidate: I am overzealous (work too hard) and become nervous when my co-workers are not pulling their weight (doing their job). However, I am aware of this problem, and before I say anything to anyone, I ask myself why the colleague is having difficulties.
Candidate: I tend to spend too much time making sure the customer is satisfied. However, I began setting time-limits for myself If I noticed this happening.
Comment: This is a difficult question. You need to mention a weakness that is actually a strength. Make sure that you always mention how you try to improve the weakness.
7.Interviewer:Why do you want to work for Smith and Sons?
Candidate: After following your firms progress for the last 3 years, I am convinced that Smith and Sons are becoming one of the market leaders and I would like to be part of the team.
Candidate: I am impressed by the quality of your products. I am sure that I would be a convincing(co suc thuyet phuc) salesman because I truly believe that the Atomizer is the best product on the market today.
Comment: Prepare yourself for this question by becoming informed about the company. The more detail you can give, the better you show the interviewer that you understand the company.
8.Interviewer: When can you begin?
Candidate: As soon as you would like me to begin.
Comment: Show your willingness to work!
The above questions represent some of the most basic questions asked on any job interview in English. Probably the most important aspect of interviewing in English is giving detail. As a speaker of English as a second language, you might be shy about saying complicated things. However, this is absolutely necessary as the employer is looking for an employee who knows his or her job. If you provide detail, the interviewer will know that you feel comfortable in that job. Don't worry about making mistakes in English. It is much better to make simple grammar mistakes and provide detailed information about your experience than to say grammatically perfect sentences without any real content.
I hope these features help you to improve your job interviewing skills. Practice your replies often to these and other questions. Sit down with a friend and act out the interview. By repeating these phrases you will gain much needed confidence.
Congratulations! You have applied for a job and now you are getting ready for that important job interview. Your English is excellent and you are looking forward to making a good impression on your future (hopefully) boss. Now, you need to make sure that you also have the right type of English for that job interview.
The job interview in English contains specific questions and appropriate answers. It also requires a certain flexibility in your usage of tenses. This feature provides tips on job interview questions and answers in English.
When you walk in the room the very first impression you make on the interviewer can have a great influence on the rest of the interview. It is important that you introduce yourself, shake hands, and are friendly. The first question is often a "breaking the ice" (establish a rapport) type of question. Don't be surprised if the interviewer asks you something like:
·How are you today?
·Did you have any trouble finding us?
·What do you think of the weather lately?
Don't be surprised by the friendly tone. The interviewer wants to put you at ease (help you relax). Answer the question without going into too much detail. The language you use should be simple but polite, for example;
9.How are you today?
I'm fine thank you, and you?
I'm well thank you.
Not so well
10.What is most important?
Talking about your experience and credentials (qualifications) is the most important part of any job interview. Your qualifications include your education from High School on and any special
training you may have done in the past. Your experience is any work that you have done that is directly or indirectly related to the job you are applying for.
Remember that your education took place in the past. Therefore you need to use the past tenses, for example:
I attended the University of Helsinki from 1987 to 1993.
I graduated with a degree in agricultural planning.
If you are currently a student you should use the following present tenses:
I am currently studying at the University of New York and will graduate with a degree in Economics in the spring.
I am studying English at the Borough Community College.
Remember to include any training you may have had when talking about your education. This includes any computer training, correspondence courses, etc. Make sure to mention your English studies. This is very important as English is not your first language and the employer may be concerned about this fact. Assure the employer that you are continuing to improve your English skills by any courses you may be taking, or by saying that you study a certain number of hours a week to improve your skills.
Experience and Qualifications
Work experience is by far the most important topic of any job interview (at least in the United States and Britain). Therefore, it is important to explain what experience you have in detail. Generally, employers want to know exactly what you did and how well you accomplished your tasks. This is not the time to be modest. Be confident, and talk freely about your accomplishments in past employment.
The tenses you should use are the following:
When talking about current employment be careful to use the present perfect or present perfect continuous. This signals that you are still performing these tasks at your current job, for example:
Smith and Co. have employed me for the last 3 years as a salesperson.
I have been creating customer contacts for 6months.
When talking about past employers use the past tenses to signal that you are no longer working for that company, for example:
I was employed by Jackson's from 1989 to 1992 as a clerk.
I worked as a receptionist at the Ritz while I was living in New York.
Talking about Responsibilities
Most importantly, you will need to demonstrate your qualifications and skills, which are required for the job you are applying for. The job skills that you have acquired in the past may not have been for the same exact job. Therefore, it is important to show how the capabilities you do have relate to the job you are applying for.
I remember a wonderful example of adapting skills to fit the job desired. I had a student from Moscow who had worked as the manager of an important theater in Moscow. Unfortunately, he had to start from the beginning in New York and therefore wanted to get a job as a rodent exterminator (someone who kills rats!). When asked what kind of experience he had, he replied that, as the manager of the theater, he had had to make sure that the theater was always rodent free and was therefore capable of doing the job well! This is a fantastic example of the type of adaptability most employers in the United States are looking for.
Use the Right Word
Below is a list of great verbs to help you express just exactly what you did with impressive vocabulary. These verbs are used to express responsibilities and tasks performed:
· Name of company, position title and description, dates of employment. - Best Answers
· What were your expectations for the job and to what extent were they met? - Best Answers
· What were your starting and final levels of compensation? - Best Answers
· What were your responsibilities? - Best Answers
· What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them? - Best Answers
· Which was most / least rewarding? - Best Answers
· What was the biggest accomplishment / failure in this position? - Best Answers
· Questions about your supervisors and co-workers. - Best Answers
· What was it like working for your supervisor? What were his strengths and shortcomings? - Best Answers
· Who was your best boss and who was the worst? - Best Answers
· Why are you leaving your job? - Best Answers
· What have you been doing since your last job? - Best Answers
· Why were you fired? - Best Answers
Job Interview Questions About You
· Describe a typical work week. - Best Answers
· Do you take work home with you? - Best Answers
· How many hours do you normally work? - Best Answers
· How would you describe the pace at which you work? - Best Answers
· How do you handle stress and pressure? - Best Answers
· What motivates you? - Best Answers
· What are your salary expectations? - Best Answers
· What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make? - Best Answers
· Tell me about yourself. - Best Answers
· What has been the greatest disappointment in your life? - Best Answers
· What are your pet peeves? -Best Answers
· What do people most often criticize about you? - Best Answers
· When was the last time you were angry? What happened? - Best Answers
· If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently? - Best Answers
· If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say? Best Answers
· Do you prefer to work independently or on a team? - Best Answers
· Give some examples of teamwork. - Best Answers
· What type of work environment do you prefer? - Best Answers
· How do you evaluate success? - Best Answers
· If you know your boss is 100% wrong about something how would you handle it? - Best Answers
· Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it. - Best Answers
· Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it. - Best Answers
· More job interview questions about your abilities. - Best Answers
· More job interview questions about you. - Best Answers
Job Interview Questions About the New Job and the Company
· What interests you about this job? - Best Answers
· Why do you want this job? - Best Answers
· What applicable attributes / experience do you have? - Best Answers
· Are you overqualified for this job? - Best Answers
· What can you do for this company? - Best Answers
· Why should we hire you? - Best Answers
· Why are you the best person for the job? - Best Answers
· What do you know about this company? - Best Answers
· Why do you want to work here? - Best Answers
· What challenges are you looking for in a position? - Best Answers
· What can you contribute to this company? - Best Answers
· Are you willing to travel? - Best Answers
· Is there anything I haven't told you about the job or company that you would like to know? - Best Answers
Interview Questions: The Future
· What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you? - Best Answers
· What are your goals for the next five years / ten years? - Best Answers
· How do you plan to achieve those goals? - Best Answers
· What are your salary requirements - both short-term and long-term? - Best Answers
· Questions about your career goals. - Best Answers
· What will you do if you don't get this position? - Best Answers
Job Interview Questions About Yourself and Sample Answers
When the questions are "personal", about you, it can be a very slippery slope. The answers below are guidelines so you can write out your answers long before you go to the interview. Then, when the question is asked, you can take the few seconds (expected by the interviewer) to think about the question and how you will frame your answer (which you already know).
13.What would you do differently if you could start your working life over?
The interviewer is looking for a detour that continues to be a professional block in your career.
Looking back over my career, I would have returned to school much earlier to complete my Masters degree. Even though I got my degree later than I had originally anticipated
lam xong cai ji tc ngiuoi khac, I never lost sight of the goal.
14.How do you balance life and work?
The interviewer wonders if you've made arrangements for the days when your child is too sick to go to school and/or daycare or if you're "out of there" as soon as it's quitting time.
Best Answer: Being organized helps me balance my professional life and personal life. Consequently, I can be fully engaged while I'm at work. For those unexpected times, I have a good back-up system of child care for my children.
15.What is your preferred way to communicate?
This is a good opportunity to show you understand the importance of adjusting your preferences when necessary.
At home, I enjoy talking on the phone and emails. At work, I follow the established pattern. Each of my bosses, in the past, has had a preferred method I've followed their lead.
16.Do you check voicemail and email when on vacation?
The interviewer is wondering whether they will always be able to find you.
Best Answer: While on vacation, I can be reached for emergencies; however, I also know the people with whom I work are very capable of making good decisions while I'm away. I understand the importance of recharging my battery.
17.What is your favorite book? How about your favorite movie? The interviewer wants to know whether you read to stay current and if you will you fit into the company culture.
Best Answer (include your personal favorites): I read many different kinds of books. My current "favorite" book is The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. My favorite movie? Miracle on Ice.
18.What historical figure do you admire and why?
The interviewer wants to know whether you are well read and what characteristics you admire.
Best Answer (include historical figures you personally admire): Personally, I most admire Abigail Adams, John Adam's wife; professionally I admired the leadership style of Ronald Reagan.
19.What did you do during this six month gap in employment?
Everyone, at some point, will probably have a gap in employment. Do not "waste it".
Best Answer: For the first month, I worked on my "to do list" at home and accomplished a great deal. Then I began building a plan to reenter the workplace. While it took a little longer than I'd anticipated, I've learned a great deal about myself, am rested and looking forward to new challenges in the workplace.
20.What led you to this point in your life?
The interviewer wants to know if you are unhappy, frustrated, or lost?
My "road of life" has been interesting, sometimes challenging and always rewarding. The steps along the way that have led to this point in my life are, in some ways, very different than I had imagined; however, I like who I am today in part because of my past. An example is when the second company on my resume suddenly closed their doors during a down-turn in the economy. For a very brief time, the road ahead was unknown; however, I discovered I had previously untapped strengths such as perseverance.
· How would you describe the responsibilities of the position?
· How would you describe a typical week/day in this position?
· Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?
· What is the company's management style?
· Who does this position report to? If I am offered the position, can I meet him/her?
· How many people work in this office/department?
· How much travel is expected?
· Is relocation a possibility?
· What is the typical work week? Is overtime expected?
· What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
· How does one advance in the company?
· Are there any examples?
· What do you like about working here?
· What don't you like about working here and what would you change?
· Would you like a list of references?
· If I am extended a job offer, how soon would you like me to start?
· What can I tell you about my qualifications?
· When can I expect to hear from you?
· Are there any other questions I can answer for you?
Interview Questions NOT to Ask ~
· What does this company do? (Do your research ahead of time!)
· If I get the job when can I take time off for vacation? (Wait until you get the offer to mention prior commitments)
· Can I change my schedule if I get the job? (If you need to figure out the logistics of getting to work don't mention it now...)
· Did I get the job? (Don't be impatient. They'll let you know.)
You've written a great CV and covering letter, and the company has asked you to attend an interview. You need to make sure that you make the right impression to get the job! Here are ten top tips to help you succeed at the interview.
1. Use polite phrases.
Remember that if someone asks you "How do you do?" the correct response is "How do you do".
When you meet someone for the first time, you can say "Pleased to meet you." If someone says this to you first, you can reply "Pleased to meet you, too" or "It's a pleasure to meet you, too".
If you didn't hear someone's name, you can say "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name".
2. Ask questions which you have already prepared.
You should have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview. You can prepare some before the interview. This will help you research the vocabulary you need and it will make you look interested in the company and the job.
There are different types of questions. "Direct" questions use words like "who", "when" or "what" or have an auxiliary at the beginning of the question.
"Who is the manager of the department?"
"When would the job start?"
"Do you have a company pension?"
"Can I also work from home?"
You can also ask "indirect" questions to make what you say sound less demanding. Indirect questions start with an introduction:
"I'd like to know if you offer private health care."
"Could you tell me if you offer options?"
3. Try to predict the questions and plan the answers.
"Can you tell us more about your experience with…"
"Oh yes. When I …."
"What qualities can you bring to this post?"
"Well, I'm an organised person and I…"
4. Show you are listening
As well as maintaining eye contact, you can use phrase such as "Mmm", "I see" or "OK" to show the other person you are paying attention.
5. Don't be afraid to ask for explanations if you don't understand something.
"I'm not sure I understand completely the relationship between these two departments. Could you explain a little further, please?'
"I'm afraid I don't really understand the difference between these two contracts. Could you go over it again, please?"
"I'm sorry, but I didn't understand what you just said. Could you repeat it please?"
6. Check you understand what people say to you.
"When you say ….., do you mean…?"
"Could I just go over this point again?"
"Sorry, do you mean…?"
7. Use a range of vocabulary to present your achievements and experience.
"I achieved sales growth of…"
"I managed sales of…"
"I increased sales by…"
8. Try to remember names and titles (or company positions) when you are introduced.
A good way of remembering names is to use them immediately after you hear them. So, if someone introduces you to "Deborah Jones, our Marketing Manager" you can say immediately "Pleased to meet you, Ms Jones".
9. Be aware of your gestures and movements during the interview.
Nod your head to show you understand and agree with the other person. Keep eye contact with them and try not to use nervous gestures. Ask your friends to help you rehearse the interview - they can tell you if you appear nervous!
10. Make sure you know what will happen after the interview.
The interviewer could say things like:
"So we will contact you in a couple of weeks."
"We'll let you know at the beginning of next month."
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Alaa fathi, July 28th 2007
Many thanks for your valuable effort tohelp us be ready or inteviews
zakaria, August 5th 2007
All this will be helpful to me but I'm some one who is very timid and when I'm in front of he interviewer I feel something strange within me prevents me to talk whereas when I'm alone I can express my self easily. S please i was wandering if you could help in order to skip my fear and go over every thing.
I understand you completely. Even if you're doing an interview in your first language, it's quite a difficult situation to be in, and you're bound to feel nervous. The best advice I can give is to ask someone to role-play the interview with you. Think up some possible questions, then practise answering them. You can even record yourself so that you can hear yourself speak. Like presentations, practising interviews is a good way to help you feel more relaxed and confident.
fariha Maqsood, August 9th 2007
this a very helpful website i really appreciate your efforts. please send me some tips about writing formal letters.
You can visit this page on tips for business correspondence:
Interview Resources (vie nam)
1. Làm việc dưới áp lực nhưng vẫn hiệu quả?
2. Đưa ra một tình huống khó xử với đồng nghiệp?
3. Sử dụng sự sáng tạo của bạn để giải quyết một vấn đề?
4. Không thể hoàn thành dự án đúng thời gian?
5. Thuyết phục đồng nghiệp làm theo cách của bạn?
6. Lường trước và ngăn chặn những vấn đề tiềm ẩn?
7. Viết báo cáo nhận được lời khen ngợi từ sếp?
8. Phải đưa ra một quyết định quan trọng với một lượng thông tin giới hạn?
9. Buộc phải đưa ra một quyết định không phổ biến?
10. Phải thích ứng với một tình huống khó khăn?
11. Bỏ lỡ một giải pháp cho một vấn đề quan trọng?
12. Chấp nhận ý kiến khác xa với lập luận của bạn?
13. Thấy thất vọng về cách cư xử của bạn?
14. Sử dụng kỹ năng con người để giải quyết vấn đề?
15. Phải làm việc với một khách hàng khó tính?
16. Hoàn thành dự án thành công?
17. Khắc phục khó khăn khi làm dự án?
18. Chiến lược anh đưa ra thất bại?
19. Ưu tiên một dự án phức tạp?
20. Dành được hoặc đánh mất một hợp đồng làm ăn?
21. Phải sa thải một ai đó?
22. Đưa ra một quyết định sai lầm?
23. Tuyển dụng nhầm người?
24. Bỏ qua một công việc tốt?
25. Bị sa thải?